NL Debt Relief

The following programs allow eligible students to reduce their NL Student Loan debt.

Note: Ensure your contact information is up to date with the Student Financial Services Division.

Newfoundland and Labrador Debt Reduction Grants

This program allows for up to the full amount of the NL Student Loan to be converted into a non-repayable grant for eligible programs. There is no application process. You are automatically assessed after the Student Financial Services Division receives notification from the educational institution that you have graduated.

Important Note: If you did not apply for financial assistance during the final period/semester prior to graduation, you should contact the Student Financial Services Division so that your eligibility for a Debt Reduction Grant can be determined.

Eligibility

You are eligible for a Debt Reduction Grant if:

  • you successfully complete at least 80% of a full course load each semester or academic year as determined by the school;
  • you apply and are deemed eligible for loan assistance for at least half of the required length of the program* and borrow in excess of $165 per week of study during a semester or academic year; and
  • within 10 years after the program start date, you graduate from a post-secondary program within the province (or other eligible program) that is at least 80 weeks in duration.

*If you are a work-term student, the program length will be based on your total number of academic terms plus any work-term semesters for which you were deemed eligible for student loans.

Grants are calculated on the basis of a semester or academic year; however, benefits are not paid until you graduate.

In certain situations, borrowers may qualify for a Debt Reduction Grant if they are taking less than 80% of a full course load. For example, this would include borrowers approved by the Student Financial Services Division for assistance for full-time studies while taking less than 80% of a full course load and students with permanent disabilities. However, to be eligible for the full Debt Reduction Grant, these students must be successful in all courses for which the reduced course load was approved.

Borrowers may also be eligible for the Debt Reduction Grant if they demonstrate that extenuating circumstances beyond their control have caused them to be unsuccessful in completing 80% of a full course load. In such cases, approval for the grant will be determined upon review of a written appeal.

Attending Schools outside the Province

Borrowers who attend a designated school outside the province may also be eligible for the Debt Reduction Grant if you went out of province for at least one of the following reasons:

  • the program was not offered in Newfoundland and Labrador or was substantially different from any program in the province;
  • the program was at the graduate level;
  • you were not admitted to the program in the province due to limited enrolment;
  • you did not meet the entrance requirements of the school in the province, but did for the same program in another jurisdiction;
  • you received transfer credits toward, or advanced standing into the program, which significantly reduced the program length; or
  • your spouse went out of province to attend a program of study that is eligible for the Debt Reduction Grant.

Note: If you attended a designated school outside the province for reasons other than those listed above and you would like to be considered for the Debt Reduction Grant, contact Student Financial Services Division for assistance.

You are required to provide the Student Financial Services Division with appropriate documentation to support your request.

Programs Less Than 80 Weeks in Duration

Borrowers may be eligible to receive Debt Reduction Grants for programs that are less than 80 weeks in duration if the program(s):

  • is completed after the student graduated from a previous program that was at least 80 weeks in duration and qualified for the Debt Reduction Grant; and
  • is deemed to advance the student in their particular field of study or significantly enhance the student’s employability.

Required Documentation

A separate application is not required; however the Student Financial Services Division requires the following information to determine a student’s eligibility:

  • transcript of marks;
  • percentage of a full course load the student completed per semester;
  • confirmation of graduation (this can be a copy of the relevant degree, certificate or diploma); and
  • confirmation of the graduation date and the number of weeks of the program.

This information can be submitted by your educational institution using the Debt Reduction Program Monitoring Form that is sent to them. If the school does not provide this information to the Student Financial Services Division, you are encouraged to submit the information to Student Financial Services Division.

Under the Debt Reduction Grant Program, you must respond to all requests for required documentation from the Student Financial Services Division within 2 years of graduation.

Borrowers may appeal decisions made by the Student Financial Services Division pertaining to Debt Reduction Grants. However, appeals will not be considered prior to the release of a debt reduction notice. You must submit your appeal within one year from the date you were notified of the original decision.

In cases where the provincial portion of the loan has been paid in full, you will be contacted by Student Financial Services Division to make arrangements to issue the remaining debt-reduction funds through direct deposit to your bank account.

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Early Childhood Education Grants

No application is required. The Student Financial Services Division will notify you if you meet the eligibility requirements. If you qualify, the outstanding balance of the provincial loan borrowed while you were studying Early Childhood Education will be forgiven by converting it into a non-repayable grant upon confirmation that you have met all requirements.

You qualify if:

  • you graduate from an approved Early Childhood Education program within the province;
  • you have applied and been deemed eligible for assistance for at least half of the required length of the program;
  • you borrow more than $165 per week of study during a given semester;
  • you completed the program within the normal length of the program plus a grace period of up to one academic year (two semesters); and
  • you obtain full-time employment (at least 30 hours per week) in a licensed family home or child-care centre within the province for a period of at least 24 months.

Note: In cases where the provincial portion of the loan has been paid in full, you will receive the balance of the grant through direct deposit to your bank account.

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